Today I ended the steeping of my bottle of Tequila por Mi Amante. What began a slightly sharp agave elixir is now, well, it’s now something completely different. It’s now a crystal clear ruby hued nectar. The aroma is what gets you first. It’s got the tequila scents that you would expect, but layered on top of those is the aroma of fresh strawberries. If you’re not under its spell by that point the flavor will push you over the edge. The sharpness of the tequila is replaced with a subtle strawberry fruitiness with just a hint of sweetness.
I’ve only had time to sample it straight up and let this be a word of warning. If you decide to try a few sips right after bottling you may never close the bottle again. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that you may have some unpleasant encounters with the floor were you to go this route. We’re all adults here. So, by all means, sample at your own risk. After that first sip my head soon started filling with possibilities for how to make use of this wonderfulness. I’m thinking a Margarita, of course, maybe a Paloma as Paul Clarke did, maybe even a riff on the Daiquiri with agave syrup and lime. The softened tequila sharpness really makes this a much more versatile ingredient than straight tequila in my mind.
Some thoughts for my next batch or your first. One, use a full 750 of tequila, no reason to leave a little behind. Two, slice enough strawberries to where the tequila barely covers them all. This will give you maximum strawberry flavor. Three, when it comes time to strain use a metal strainer with a layer of paper towel inside. The paper towel will catch all the tiny hairs that come off the strawberries during infusion. Also, this will allow you to give the strawberries a squeeze to extract all the goodness. Four, and this one won’t be hard I promise, drink it relatively quickly. As with all infusions the flavors will begin to fade over time. I’d say you have at least 4-6 months though. Finally, some recipes out there suggest adding sugar. Please don’t. This will only prove to limit your cocktail options and should you want it sweetened to serve as a liqueur you can always add a bit of simple syrup later.
Well, that’s about all I have for today. As I get a chance to mix up some cocktails I’ll post updates. But don’t wait until then to get your own batch started. With summer nearly in full swing the berries will be sweet and cheap. A perfect time to put up a bottle to steep.